Analysis: Flyers beat Capitals 8-2 in home opener

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

Capitals Goals

  • Jakub Vrana (2), assists: Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson
  • Nicklas Backstrom (3), assists: T.J. Oshie, Brooks Orpik

Flyers Goals

  • Sean Couturier (2), assists: Jake Voracek, Claude Giroux
  • Scott Laughton (1) (Shorthanded), unassisted
  • Wayne Simmonds (5) (Power Play), assists: Jake Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere
  • Claude Giroux (2), assists: Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek
  • Valterri Filppula (3), assists: Jordan Weal, Wayne Simmonds
  • Scott Laughton (2), assist: Ivan Provorov
  • Sean Couturier (3), assists: Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere
  • Claude Giroux (3), assists: Brandon Manning, Shayne Gostisbehere

What a way to open the home season, especially against the hated rival Washington Capitals. You remember all those times last season that the Capitals put up big goal numbers against the Flyers? Saturday night was pure revenge and it showed a lot from the team in general. It’s a new season for the Fly Guys and they are not about to be bullied by last year’s President Trophy Winners.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

5 Takeaways from Capitals vs. Flyers

  • Just from me being at the game, the Wells Fargo Center crowd was rocking the entire night. It started with an amazing tribute to the Las Vegas shooting that happened earlier this month, where you could hear U-S-A chants after the moment of silence. It was chilling. After that, the atmosphere felt like a playoff game. People were going nuts and cheering, and they had plenty to cheer about. There were a few “Ref, you suck” chants but all in all, a great opening crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
  • There was so much offense! It was a Flyers team that just seemed to never let up on the Capitals backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Six Flyers had a multi-point night including Scott Laughton, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier who each scored two goals apiece. It’s nice to see that kind of offense, especially from the first line and at even strength, something that the Flyers were looking for. Giroux and Voracek really struggled last season against the Capitals and it’s fantastic that Saturday was just a completely different life for them. If Giroux and Voracek produce the way they have been, hockey is going to be a lot more fun in Philadelphia.
  • Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom, three of the Capitals’ top players and some of the NHL’s current point leaders were held to one goal and one assist combined Saturday night. Solid defense from the Flyers.
  • Brian Elliott was pretty good Saturday, holding the Capitals to two goals and saving 21. He made a lot of impressive saves and seemed to know where the puck was at all times. Elliott performing well in front of the home crowd was something I was worried about, then again, I was worried about a close game as well.
  • According to my good friend Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia, this is the first time since 1982, where the Flyers have scored 8 or more goals in a home opener. That’s impressive. Flyers are now 3-2-0 on the season.

Star of the Game

While there were a lot of players to choose from, I’m going with Scott Laughton. It’s clear that this season, Laughton is looking to make an impact. He hasn’t scored since April of the 2016 season and he worked incredibly hard to make the roster out of camp. He’s also adjusted well to his newfound role on a very good fourth line. His first goal was also very similar to a Mike Richards’ goal we’ve seen in the past, so that was cool to watch.

Flub of the Game

I’ll call it a flub, but it didn’t really matter. Almost a few minutes after a Flyers goal was scored, the Capitals won the faceoff and immediately scored on a breakaway for their second goal.

The Flyers are back in action for the second game of their five-game homestand vs. the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

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